Positive Self Reflection – our unsung hero

Starting a new role is such an exciting time but so often brings with it a flood of self doubt and nervousness. It can hit people a few days before they start or as late as in the middle of the wee hours on their first day.  That self talk kicks in and goes a little like this …. will they like me, will I be able to do the job, what if I can’t meet their expectations.

Two of my clients started exciting new roles this week and experienced exactly this and for both of them the self talk and nervousness had come as a surprise. I expect this was partly because they had both been in their previous roles five plus years and hadn’t been the new kid on the block for some time.  It is always easy giving advice from the sideline but I couldn’t hold back. I reminded them that their organisations could have chosen someone else but they had seen the talent and skill match and wanted them on their team.  I got them to reflect on how they felt when they started their last job and reflect on what they had achieved within their first six months. Instantly the tensions started to disappear and I could hear the self belief come back in to their voices.

It was a great reminder to me that we all experience times of self doubt and the best tool we have at our finger tips is “positive self reflection” identifying and reminding ourselves what we have achieved before, how far we have come and the value we have added along the way.

Your challenge from me:  is next time you find yourself experiencing that self doubt chatter find a quiet spot and do some self reflecting on the value you bring to your client and/or employer.

You’re not alone – Monday blue’s can hit us all

One of my clients asked me last week if I had ever experienced “Monday Blues”. When I responded “sure I have”, a look of surprise come over their face! I have come to realize that even when you love your job the Sunday evening blues or Monday morning blues can hit you. For me I think this started when I was young and Sunday evenings always had a certain ritual that made me feel sad the weekend was over and slightly hesitant the busy week was just around the corner.  Mum would make my sister and I get ready for our school week, ensure shoes were polished, homework completed, and nagging us that we had to have an early night. As I have got older and wiser I have introduced some strategies to help ensure my Monday’s are a positive day or just like any other day at the office. I have to admit I am not always successful but when I fall of the wagon I know what to do when the next Sunday evening comes along.

One of the strategies that worked for a number of years was to get into work early on a Monday and tick some boxes off my do list, tidy my desk and have some quiet time before others arrived. I had started to notice few months back that this was not working as well as it had in the past. I would find myself unproductively surfing the internet.

Last Sunday morning I decided I needed to change my Monday routine so this week I sent myself off to a 7am spin class. Not only did I enjoy the class I had one of my most productive happy Monday’s for some weeks. I am already looking forward to hitting the bike again this Monday.

Some other strategies you might like to try are:

Get Up a Little Earlier on Monday – rather than staying in bed till the last minute then having to race to the office give yourself a little extra time. It’s amazing the calming feeling this can leave you with. If you’re not a morning exercise person head to a local cafe and treat yourself to breakfast or a coffee.

Set yourself up for a good start to the week before you leave work on Friday – at the very least, if you plan out Monday’s workload on Friday, you’ll feel less overwhelmed come Monday. Planning ahead can help you cope with Mondays and maintain your productivity levels for the rest of the week. Include de-cluttering your desk and getting any filing done and dusted.

Do something special on Sunday evenings – try and mix up your Sunday evening routine. This might be a TV free evening, a long soak in the bath before you go to bed, preparing a special dinner or trying a new recipe.  We have gone to an early movie on a Sunday which still allows us to have an early night.

Monday morning doesn’t have to be the most painful day of the week; it is only so, if you allow it to!!

Some years ago I came across a great book called “No More Blue Mondays: Four Keys to Finding Fulfillment at Work” by Robin A. Sheerer.  Alas I leant the book to a client and it hasn’t found its way back to me. When I read the book the following really resonated with me and I have since shared it with a number of clients.

 As you continue to pursue the goal of creating satisfying work and a life you love.  It is important to remember that making a commitment is not a one time event.  You will need to renew your commitment again and again.  Life is not static.  You will encounter new obstacles, get tired, bored, and discouraged; occasionally lose your way or get sidetracked; grow up and grow old; notice that your energy and priorities have changed; and even discard some values and adopt new ones.  So remember that commitment needs to be ongoing.   Committing yourself to work is no different from committing yourself to any important relationship or undertaking.  From time to time you need to reevaluate your decision and then renew your commitment, or commit yourself to a new direction.

Enjoy the Journey!

Your challenge this week – what can you do differently to help avoid the Monday Blues.